9. April 2016 – 12:49
Jodhpur is located in the heart of Rajasthan, in the middle of the Tharr Desert, and is now the second largest city of Rajasthan (after Jaipur) with 3,6 million inhabitants. If you visit the so-called “Blue City”, you don’t notice much of its size, the main sights and the market in the old town are largely within walking distance.
Blue is the color of the Brahmins, the high-caste priests. In the past, their houses were painted with the blue color, today not only Brahmins paint their houses blue, because the color is supposed to protect against mosquitoes and have a cooling effect. In Jodhpur it is hot all year round and is therefore also known as teh City of the Sun.
Jodhpur was founded in 1459 by Marari ruler Rao Jodha and quickly became the capital of the Marwaris. Since Jodhpur was very conveniently located on the trade route between Delhi and Gujarath, the city was a thriving trading center for opium, copper, silk and coffee.
Due to the central location of the city, it is still very convenient for tourists! Quite a few travelers stop here to visit Mehrangahr Fort, one of Rajasthan’s most beautiful forts.
In the following I have created a small program for a two-day stay in and around Jodhpur.
Whether you have arrived by train in the morning or have already spent the first night in Jodhpur, a good breakfast is always worthwhile. This can be found in one of the numerous restaurants in the old town from where you can easily walk to the fort.
The Mehrangahr Fortress was built in 1460 and rises 125 meters proudly over the city.
Behind its strong walls are not only countless palaces and picturesque courtyards, but it now includes one of the best equipped museums in Rajasthan. A visit is always worthwhile!
Afterwards, a little adventure is recommended: From the fort you can glide through the air on six so-called Zipplines against a breathtaking backdrop. A real highlight in Jodhpur, which is not quite cheap, but all the more fun! The great views of the fort and the roofs of the city alone make the adventure worthwhile.
For lunch, it’s best to eat in the excellent On The Rocks Restaurant, before heading to Osian, 70 km away, in the early afternoon. The former religious centre of the Jains and Brahmins is still a popular place of pilgrimage! In addition, you are right in the desert and can take part in a camel safari and watch the sunset from the sand dunes. A good alternative, if you don’t plan to go to Jaisalmer to take part in a camel safari.
The overnight saty is either in the luxurious desert camp with Rajasthani cultural program and sumptuous buffet or in the open air at a farm, were the family cooks a simple local meal for you. Here you get to know the real life of a Rajastan family.
The next morning you should visit the remarkable Sachia Mata temple. It is worth to experience the morning puja (holy ritual). The ornate temple of the 8th century BC. Built until the 12th century, Sachi honors Mata, a reincarnation of Parvati, and bears similarities to the temples of Kajuraho.
Back in Jodhpur, it’s worth to take a stroll through the markets at the Clock Tower, built from 1880-1911. Here there is a colourful hustle and bustle and you can practice haggling while shopping for clothes, spices, fruit and souvenirs.
If you are interested in the art, you should visit the Umaid Heritage Art School. Here you will be introduced to the arts of Minitaur painting and are allowed to try out for yourself.
If this is nothing, you can also visit the Umaid Bhawan Palace. The home of Gai Singh’s royal family has 347 rooms and is one of the world’s largest private residences. Today it serves not only as a home of the Maharaja, but also as a hotel and museum.
It was built in 1929-1943, solely for the sake of creating jobs for the impoverished population, which suffered from a drought period. After all, 2000-3000 people were employed!
In the evening you can either take the train to your next destination or stay for one night in the blue city!